Archive for the ‘Divorce or Dissolution’ category

Divorce Property Division: Marital v. Gift

July 24th, 2014

Think That Was Gift?  - In Divorce, Not Unless it’s in Writingdivorce court

Prior to divorce couples often give each other gifts for various occasions and celebrations, or for no reason at all, but what happens to all those gifts when the couple splits-up is not so understood.  In Ohio, as a general rule, any property a couple acquires, during the course of the marriage, whether jointly or individually, becomes marital property.  The only exceptions include inherited property and property designated as individual property or as a gift in writing.

For example, if your husband or wife gives you a boat for your anniversary, you cannot say it is your boat, when you divorce.  This also means that your spouse cannot claim that the boat is theirs just because they purchased the property. In a court proceeding, absent a writing, the judge will not rely only on a claiming party’s word alone.

If you are concerned about the division of property in your break-up, contact the Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson, at (937)879-9542, to schedule a free consultation.

Divorce Papers: Read Carefully!

July 22nd, 2014

Read Your Papers! – The Contempt Trap for Divorcedivorce

In a recent case decided by the State of Ohio’s 5th Appellate District, the importance of reading and understanding your divorce papers was made clear.  In Woodie v. Woodie, the wife filed a contempt motion against the husband for his failing to follow their agreement regarding his presence at a personal property exchange, and for taking personal property not designated to him by their agreed to division.  The husband acknowledged being present, but argued the property he took was his.

Lucky for the husband, the separation agreement was drafted poorly.  Due to the confusion of designation the property in the agreement, the court stated, “A party ‘cannot be found in contempt if the contempt charge is premised on a party’s failure to obey an order of the court and the order is not clear, definite, and unambiguous and is subject to dual interpretations.’”

Regardless of whether you are husband or wife, make sure you read and understand your separation agreement.  If there is confusion, make sure your attorney corrects the language, to insure you receive the rights and property you are due.  Remember, if found in contempt for taking or keeping property that was to go to your spouse, you may have to repay the full amount of the property taken, in addition to their attorney fees for the contempt action.

If you have more questions about contempt or the court process, contact the Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson, at (937)879-9542, to schedule a free  consultation.

Divorce and Children: How to Talk to Your Child About Divorce

July 15th, 2014

Think before you speak!  - Divorce and Childrendivorce and children

Divorce and children are a complicated, emotional pair.  Nothing weighs more on divorcing parents’ minds then how the divorce will affect their children.  Many parents stay with a spouse they are no longer committed to, love, or from whom they suffer physical and emotional abuse because they are so terrified of how divorce will affect their children.

There are various theories how best to break the news to your children about divorce, then there is the court’s opinion.   The court does not want parents talking to their children about the court proceedings, or what mommy or daddy said in a hearing, or any of the drama occurring because of the divorce.  The court believes, when it comes to divorce and children, it is in the best interest of the child to only speak in very general terms about divorce.  The details of the divorce, or reasons behind the divorce should not involve them, in the court’s view.

Children do not need the details of your divorce, before, during or after.  However, it is appropriate to talk to your children about the emotions you both feel.  The emotions of sadness, loss, anger, resentment, and betrayal are difficult for adults (who have all the details) to process and understand.  Imagine how difficult it must be for your child, who does not have your life experiences or knowledge to work on.

Children, especially very young children, need to feel secure in the present and future.  They need to know what to expect day to day, which is why psychologists and medical doctors recommend keeping children on a daily schedule to help reduce behavioral, sleep, and eating problems.  Talk with your child about what is going to happen next, not about what happened to cause the divore.  Children should be reassured of your love and commitment to them.  By talking with your children about how you feel, explaining it is acceptable and expected to feel that way, then they can feel okay to accept their own feelings and learn to cope with them.

A family court always has the best interest of the child as the top priority, and when it comes to divorce and children, you should to.  Always put your child’s needs first and address any emotional stress early with love, understanding and commitment.  Seek professional help if needed, or if you need assistance in learning how to communicate with your child.

For legal advice on the divorce process and to answer your questions about divorce and children, contact the Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson, to schedule a free in-office or telephone consultation at (937)879-9542.

The Effects of Divorce on Children: Avoidable Damage

June 25th, 2014

effects of divorce on children

Effects of Divorce on Children

 - Trash Talking and the Damage Caused

A divorce is a very emotional time for all parties involved.  Regardless of the reason for the split, both parties usually go through a wide array of emotions from happiness to uncontrollable rage.  Often these feelings are more intense when children are involved.  To lessen the effects of divorce on children, the parties must control their own behavior and actions.

One way parents cause damage to their children before, during, and after a divorce, is by trash talking the other parent.  Talking badly about, or verbally attacking, your ex in the presence of your child damages your child in several ways, including the creation of various trust issues.

  • Mistrust of the Other Parent:  When you say disparaging things about your child’s other parent within ear shot of your child, chances are they are listening.  Everyone needs to vent during a divorce, but you should do so at a time and place where your child is not present.  Even though you may no longer trust your ex when it comes to fidelity, finances, or other adult marital issues, your child must be able to in order to feel secure, safe, and loved. Children should not be told the details of your divorce.  They need to understand a divorce is not their fault, and that although their living arrangement may change, their relationships with their parents will not.  Always put your child first!  Save your rant and vent session for after the children go to bed, or when they are away.
  • Mistrust of their Own Judgment:  When you repeatedly say your ex cannot be trusted, is a scumbag, or a bad father/mother and your child hears these statements they internalize them.  One of the reasons children often blame themselves for a divorce is because a child’s understanding of their world is very limited.  A child understands their world to revolve around them.  When parents discipline their child for bad behavior, the child is taught and usually understand that bad things happen, or they are deprived of something,  when they misbehave or do something wrong.  When a child’s world changes by their parents separating, they will often believe it is because they did something wrong.  When they hear you say derogatory things about their mom/dad they will begin to analyze why you would say that, why they didn’t know that, why they didn’t figure it out, what they did to make their parent that way.  All of this creates insecurity, which can result in a mistrust of their own judgment, emotions, and cause them difficulty in creating and maintaining future relationships.
  • Mistrust of You:  It is likely you have taught your child not to lie, and that “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So, when you tell your child “everything is fine,” or “mommy and daddy love each other, we just can’t live with each other,” and then they hear you say terrible things about mommy/daddy, they may decide you are a liar.  Your child may become unsure of what to believe – do they believe mom/dad when they say everything is fine, or when they say everything is terrible.  Should they believe you when you say terrible things about their mom/dad, or when you say you still love each other.

The effects of divorce on children are hard to determine prior to filing, and often do not present themselves until later in life.  However, controlling what you say about your child’s other parent is something completely within your control.  Remember, if you are in the car talking on your cell phone, and your child is in the car with you, they can hear everything you say.  You are entitled to express your emotions, and it is important to have a support system during your divorce that allows you to vent, but put your child’s needs first.  Lessen the negative effects of divorce on children by controlling what you can.

If you are contemplating divorce, contact the Ohio Divorce Attorney, Jamie L. Anderson, for a free in-office or telephone consultation. (937)879-9542

How Long Will My Ohio Divorce Take?

June 20th, 2014

Duration of Divorce: All Depends on Cooperationdivorce

You can get married in a minute, but ending the marriage will take a little longer.  How long will your process last? – The best way to answer this question is to ask how much cooperation can you expect from your ex-spouse?  A high level of cooperation and trust will allow you to consider filing a dissolution.  If there is very little trust and cooperation you can expect a longer process.

A typical divorce can last anywhere from several months to more than a year.  A great deal of work can be done prior to filing, but the formal exchange of information called discovery takes as much time as needed for both sides to narrow the issues.

Most issues will be resolved in informal negotiations between your attorney and your ex-spouse’s attorney.  Most of your attorney’s time is spent determining if an agreement can be reached regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, identification, valuation and division of all assets, allocation of debts and agreeing on spousal support.  The more complicated and prolonged the negotiations, the longer the divorce process will take.  If these matters cannot be agreed upon, your attorney will prepare for litigation.  The participation of outside parties such as experts, guardian ad litems and psychologists can also delay your case.

Having a good relationship with your attorney is vital.  You need to be kept abreast of the status of your case and the status of negotiations.  You also need to find a way to work through the frustration endemic in every case.  Arm yourself against falsely high expectations by knowing the divorce process and knowing what your attorney is doing on your behalf.  Most divorce cases ultimately result in the parties reaching an agreement, but every case must be prepared so that all of the information is obtained for the attorney to negotiate a fair settlement or present the case to the Court for a decision.

Contact Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 to schedule a free consultation about your divorce case today.  Jamie and  her team of divorce attorneys, financial analysts, detectives and litigation experts can help you through a simple dissolution or complex divorce litigation.  Whether your case involves visitation, father’s rights issues, child custody, child support, contested divorce, uncontested divorce, establishing paternity or any other area of family law Jamie L. Anderson can help you win your case.  When there is so much on the line, call someone with the credentials to win your case.